Hobbyists have had a long history with technological breakthroughs. Some of today’s largest computing empires had their start with hobbyists tinkering in their garages. The reason is often quite readily apparent. Back in the day computers required some level of technological expertise. People didn’t have unlimited resources for their projects. Instead, they were constrained by the platforms they had on hand.

If their computers didn’t support a feature than they were forced to innovate around the problem. And in doing so they’d often create something quite remarkable. This is one of the reasons why many feel modern computing has become somewhat dull. Today’s desktop and even laptop systems are amazingly powerful. Even mid-tier smartphones are inching toward a two GHz point.

But the tech world seldom slows down for very long. This seemingly placid state would soon burst into new activity. There are quite a few reasons for it. But one of the most important factors is the rise of the single board computer. For those unfamiliar with the term, it refers to a semi-complete computer system which can run from a single small board. These boards are seldom fully feature complete. Some lack networking functionality. And the vast majority have little to no built-in storage capabilities.

But in general, they’ve been a boon to hobbyist developers. Not just for what they can do. But for the fact that they’re an intriguing platform that has some significant limitations. One of the most significant has to do with RAM. A typical single board computer usually has about 1 GB of onboard RAM. Higher end models might have 2 GB memory. What does this mean in practical terms?

The popular press usually focuses entirely on a computer’s clock speed. This is usually just a direct comparison between how many GHz a processor might have. But the RAM can dramatically reduce what a computer actually does with that capability. For example, compiling a large codebase can take four hours on system with 2 GB memory. But a system with a similar processor but only 1 GB of RAM might take a full day to complete that task.

And this is where something like any  AWS cloud consulting utah comes in. They can offer up some expertise in something that hobbyists often lack. They usually know exactly how to tie in lower powered systems with higher powered cloud-based environments. And this is proving to be the missing piece of the puzzle for many hobbyists. It’s usually fairly inexpensive to add a powerful networking stack to single board computers.

And once that’s done one can tie it in with cloud based supercomputers. Hobbyists might need the help of consultants to really make the process as efficient as it might be. But this is part of the challenge. It integrates two very different systems into a unique whole.

And it seems like this might well be the wave of the future. What’s really exciting is that the trend opens up hobbyists to true innovation again. Between cloud computing and single board systems it’s easy to get started for a comparatively small amount of money. And the potential for the resulting systems is nearly endless.